DrBuni

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Dating mechanics. No, thank you.
 

Frostorm

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Oh, I forgot about this thread! Leaving an obligatory "I hate RNG-based stat growths" here.
 

HexMozart88

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Going to throw in save points here. I can't progress in CrisTales because I keep being thrown a battle every two seconds, can't heal after, keep dying, and then lose an hour of progress and leveling because I can't just save from the menu. Menu saves + autosave are your best bet for any game.
 

kirbwarrior

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Oh, I forgot about this thread! Leaving an obligatory "I hate RNG-based stat growths" here.
In any game other than FE, I fully agree with you. In Fire Emblem, I maybe 70% agree with you, I don't know why.

lose an hour of progress and leveling
I still don't know why Dragon Quest seems to be the only jrpgs I see that let you die without losing everything. DQ3 in particular has this really cool thing; One boss in the game is through a pretty long and arduous dungeon, but the dungeon curves around into the basement of a building in the nearby town. And there's a fairly long cutscene before the boss. If you die to the boss, you get sent back to church (like usual). The door to the building you couldn't enter before is now open, letting you go straight to the boss. And the boss says two sentences instead of the full scene!

That's a pretty extreme example, but I see no reason why dying in the middle of the dungeon should undo things like level and treasure gains. If nothing else, that would make it faster to go through the second time and less annoying because you are stronger.
 

Milennin

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Going to throw in save points here. I can't progress in CrisTales because I keep being thrown a battle every two seconds, can't heal after, keep dying, and then lose an hour of progress and leveling because I can't just save from the menu. Menu saves + autosave are your best bet for any game.
That just seems like doing save points bad. They can totally work if they're frequent enough and strategically placed before difficult sections.
 

Cythera

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Annndddd, the thread's alive again! :kaojoy:
Also, I'm super proud of the community on how civil everyone's been here!

Now I don't recall if this has been mentioned, and it's a minor one.
But casinos in very obviously fantasy-type RPGs. Why - and how - does a world that has next to no technology aside from lights...have slot machines?
I can get behind casinos with minigames, like cards or guessing games or quizzes. But slot machines??
 

kirbwarrior

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Why - and how - does a world that has next to no technology aside from lights...have slot machines?
The theories I've heard for Dragon Quest in particular is each slot machine actually has a Slime working the process inside the machine or that the gods love luck so much they bless people into making gambling technology without knowledge of how to apply it elsewhere.
 

Cythera

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So what you're saying is, we should use slime slavery to power everything?
Jeesh, and here I am, using slimes as a food source! I've got it all wrong!
 

kirbwarrior

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So what you're saying is, we should use slime slavery to power everything?
Jeesh, and here I am, using slimes as a food source! I've got it all wrong!
I am entirely certain that a food source powers you, so just feeds slimes to everything!

Okay, you know what mechanic gets on my nerves? Voice acting. I know that's weird, but in rpgs in particular I feel like a lot of them sacrifice the script somewhat (or a lot!) to make it so the game can have voice acting. I've even heard devs specifically state they had to cut dialogue, sidequests, and other content because they couldn't get it ALL voiced in time. I don't think this is an issue that would happen in an indie game (most small developers seem to wait to even contemplate voice acting until the game is finished and the script fully locked in), but it was something I was thinking about earlier.

Voice acting itself isn't bad, though. In fact certain genres require it, namely anything that doesn't slow down the action just to have a conversation. And there are definitely games that have it that I like.
 

Cythera

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I am entirely certain that a food source powers you, so just feeds slimes to everything!
I mean, technically, yes?

I've never really thought about what voice acting would do to a game's writing and script, but your points sound solid. Voice acting takes time, and! It's not cheap. Unless you find volunteers to VA your whole game (let's be honest, this probably isn't happening unless you treat your friends like those casino slimes) you could run out of VA funds before the whole script is done.
Plus, time. If you have a fixed release date for any reason, your VAs may not be done in time!
Better to not have VA, than to sacrifice your writing. Of course, if you have the resources to do so, VA is a great addition to most games.

Side note to that, partial VA. Where main scenes have VA, but that's all. Thoughts?
 

kirbwarrior

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Side note to that, partial VA.
Fire Emblem Fates I feel did it best; There's enough voice acting to get a sense of tone and character with any given text box without them fully speaking the line. Plenty of games do this and generally speaking I can't think of one that does it poorly. This still needs a lot of VA work in a game with a lot of choices, but the VAs aren't doing the full script so the character leader can work them through hitting all the right emotional beats and key phrases.

The other area that works specifically for more traditional rpgs is voiced prerendered cutscenes. Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions does this and they are very choosy of which scenes get the treatment, intentionally focusing on a character for spoilery* reasons.

*Okay, it's spoilers for something like one cutscene into the game but still.

I've never really thought about what voice acting would do to a game's writing and script, but your points sound solid. Voice acting takes time, and! It's not cheap.
Even ignoring the money cost of VAs (something that AAA companies don't really have to worry about because they will make it happen), the time really matters. In a game with multitudes of choices that can affect each other, it could take maybe the entire development time to work it all out and make sure none of it has any issues and all the choices affect things properly. With VA, you have make sure of all that, make sure there's no script changes that need to be made (say, because this word changes the tone of the sentence or quest and thus needs to change), and still have enough time for the VA to do all the work before release. While also taking into account of the VA's schedule, which itself can be a giant can of worms. If anything, I feel bigger companies have more issues with VA than smaller ones because of hard release dates, having to deal with top tier VAs with cramped schedules of their own, having to juggle hundreds or even thousands of developers all at once, etc.

A small developer of maybe just one person who can do 90% of the game but hires three other people for music, art assets, and voice acting each doesn't have all these things to worry about. They can just finish the game before bringing in the VA, but they likely do have to worry about costs, and as you point out, it's very much not cheap.

Of course, if you have the resources to do so, VA is a great addition to most games.
This is very subjective, of course (and really so is much of the thread), but I don't know if I agree. Even really good voice acting doesn't always help my experience when playing a game. VA is necessary in something like an FPS where every line is happening while you are in combat, it's necessary in action heavy games where the line between cutscene and action scene blur to nothing, and we couldn't get golden conversations over bullets in Metal Gear Solid without them.

Where main scenes have VA, but that's all.
Of course, there is always an exception. Octopath Traveler basically throws darts at a wall to decide which scenes get VA or not (sometimes scenes that lead into one another!), and it being much more of a traditional rpg goes into my point of not needing it. But despite all that, I thought they did really good and really brought out the characters in a way the text boxes wouldn't. That, and the fact they didn't voice a particular late game scene really speaks volumes about that scene and how "seriously" the game takes it.
 

Basileus

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I still don't know why Dragon Quest seems to be the only jrpgs I see that let you die without losing everything.

I still don't know why Dragon Quest seems to be one of the only JRPGs that can figure out fast-travel. The Zoom spell has been used to warp back to town since the first game in 1986, and was expanded to teleport you back to any previously visited town since DQ3 in 1988. Somehow Pokemon is one of the only RPGs that figured out how to copy that with the Fly HM.
 

kirbwarrior

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I still don't know why Dragon Quest seems to be one of the only JRPGs that can figure out fast-travel.
Octopath taking a further step in making fast-travel completely free was so mind-blowing. At least in something like, say, FF7 you do unlock the airship once the game asks you to backtrack.

Somehow Pokemon is one of the only RPGs that figured out how to copy that with the Fly HM.
And it's not great about it, asking you to backtrack immediately in the first game and not giving you Fly until maybe halfway through the game. Fast travel should be unlocked either before or at latest when the game asks you to backtrack*.

*Games that have you go through a new area to get back to an earlier town aren't exactly backtracking, so I can give a partial pass there.
 

IschmarVI

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And it's not great about it, asking you to backtrack immediately in the first game and not giving you Fly until maybe halfway through the game. Fast travel should be unlocked either before or at latest when the game asks you to backtrack*.
at this point, I am willing to actually defend Pokemon. While I agree that you get fly relatively late for a fast-travel feature, it doesn't feel like its much of an issue in the first generation games. The little backtrack at the beginning is kind of unnecessary, especially because you can't even catch pokemon at that point, but at least it's a very short backtrack so I can look past that. After that, until the point where you get to use Fly, you are mostly walking down a straight path. There IS some backtracking but the game actually gives you tools to circumvent that (dig and/or teleport) - although it doesn't do so very transparently. And at the time when you eventually get access to fly, it is roughly at the time where the game starts opening up so it's roughly when you start actually benefitting from fly.

So I think, the implementation of fly - while certainly not optimal - actually works decently fine given the context of the game.


It's a very different story with ruby/sapphire/emerald though ....
 

kirbwarrior

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So I think, the implementation of fly - while certainly not optimal - actually works decently fine given the context of the game.
Bolded what matters. I'm talking from the point of the former in this thread, but I don't hold games to doing everything optimally. But the initial backtrack does seem entirely unnecessary and that irks me.

It's a very different story with ruby/sapphire/emerald though ....
And this really matters. Gen 1 did it "fine". But because the developers didn't really seem to question it or even really consider it, it only seemed to get worse as the series went on. Even gen 2 gives flight in a really weird place that forces you to either double back or play things wildly out of order.
 

Tai_MT

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I never had a problem with where you obtain "Fly" in Red/Blue. It made sense to obtain it there. Especially since you couldn't even use it until around that time anyway. You know, the Badge Requirement.

Your route is linear up until the point you obtain it, and you only obtain it once the game opens up and says, "okay, now you can pick your own way forward from here".

The Route to the Rock Tunnel is "one way", so giving you fly before this point invalidates the point of having the "One Way" path. Once you are halfway down that Route and hit the "point of no return" your only way back out of it is Dig, Teleport, or lose and be sent back to the town.

Even then, you've got some genius design. At the end of the Route, just before the Rock Tunnel... there's a Pokemon Center. If you heal your Pokemon here... Dig and Teleport and Death now transport you HERE instead of the latest town. You're 100% committed to having to go through the tunnel now.

This is a "soft trial" for what the Elite Four is going to be like. Complete with "Challenge from Rival" at the end of the long and grueling trek while your Pokemon are insanely weak.

It's pretty Genius Design.

If I recall, you need the third Gym Badge to even utilize Fly, but you can obtain the HM after the fifth gym. To get to the 5th Gym, you need to at least visit the Celedon Department Store and buy a drink for the guards so they'll let you into the city. Once in the city, I think you're locked away from the Gym by Team Rocket, so you have to defeat them at Sylph Co. You obtain the Sylph Scope there and the Master Ball. Then, you can leave and go finish the Lavender Town Pokemon Tower... or complete the Fifth Gym. I always do the Gym so I don't really have to come back. The trek back to Lavender Town is very short. Complete the Tower, catch the mons I need, and then obtain the PokeFlute and the Bike. The Flute can be used on Cycling Road or south of Lavender Town in order to progress to Fushia City. Since I just got the Bike, the game is telling me to go to "Cycling Road", since I knew about that route pretty early on with everyone talking about it in and around Celadon. Catch the Snorlax, gives me access to the route and the HM for Fly.

It's worth Noting that you can't use Fly until you've got the third badge, but you can't obtain the move until after you've at least passed through the city containing the fifth badge. So, you can "sequence break" a traded Pokemon in with Fly in order to use it early if you want.

But, here's the problem:

I haven't needed Fly yet. There's no reason to need it. The Routes between the 3 Cities I just utilized are so short, that it's not really necessary to have it. I'll use it now only to clean up Routes I haven't traveled down. Even then, I'll most likely need Strength and Surf to complete that prospect. The Route south from Lavender Town hasn't been explored yet. I'll probably also need to come back to Fushia City at some point for the Safari Zone. I'll also have to fly out to Cerulean City so that I can move passed the Rock Tunnel to collect Zapdos.

So, I could go west from Fushia City after obtaining Strength and Surf and the badge to use Strength (6th badge) and that goes north to Lavender Town. At which point, I'd need to use Fly to get to anywhere still "useful". Or, I could go south to Seafoam Islands and catch Articuno (it has Uno in it's name, so you can guess which direction the game basically wants you to go first and expects you to go first).

Hit the Seafoam Islands, then move on to Cinnabar Island for Badge 7.

Then, head north from there back to Pallet Town and Viridian City. You might have forgot at this point that Viridian City had a Gym (I did on my first run!). But, people tell you that the Gym is open now. Good thing Viridian City is where you have to go to even begin the route toward Victory Road. So, you have to come back here regardless, due to the map design.

Beat the 8th Gym and Victory Road is open.

At this point, you've probably seen a few items you've missed on these previous routes because you didn't have access to Surf and Strength (so, you got a handy little reminder, if you've forgotten!). You can now obtain these items. Seeing that you can get them will basically remind you that there's a lot of other stuff you passed up along the way here. So, you hit up every town you've previously visited using Fly to finish up that exploration.

You'll remember or find Zapdos at this point. And this is where Fly is going to get a ton of usage from most players.

Some players will remember these locations the moment they get Surf/Strength and begin their "revisit tour" after Gym 6. Good thing they got Fly before heading here. Few players remember that Lavender Town has a south exit and will inevitably head back to Celedon City to tackle Cycling Road because... what the heck is Cycling Road? You've got a bike and it's fast and awesome! Cycling Road it is! So, good thing Fly is right before Cycling Road. I mean, you just RECENTLY got your bike, didn't you? The game is obviously telling you to go to Cycling Road after you get your bike. You know, the bike you can only obtain after saving Mr. Fuji from the top of the Pokemon Tower in Lavender Town. To top it off

So, here we are. Not even needing Fly until after obtaining Badge 6, and probably not utilizing it until after Badge 8 to clean up the rest of the game before going down the last roads of the game to the end.

Then, once you've beaten the game, you'll only use Fly to go to the Safari Zone or back to The Elite Four for capturing/leveling purposes only.

Pokemon Red/Blue gives you Fly long before you ever need it and would ever use it.

The only "backtracking" the game requires of you happens AFTER you've beaten the game. It's all optional up to that point, and it's really only in service of exploration.

But, you will have to Fly back to Cerulean City once you've beaten the Elite Four. At least if you want Mewtwo and the last dungeon in the game.

You don't get Fly until you absolutely need it, and won't use it until a while after you've had it, and it doesn't become "necessary" except in quickly obtaining two Pokemon (Zapdos and Mewtwo). But, if you got a friend willing to trade you a mon with Fly on it... you can use Fly as early as beating the third Gym. Not that you need it this early.

Even going through Diglett's Cave is only useful to catch Diglett, get your Farfetch'd, and obtaining a couple items. Backtracking back through Diglett's Cave and then to Cerulean City isn't that big of a deal at that point. It's a very short jaunt. You probably also need the levels at that point to tackle the route to Rock Tunnel as well as Rock Tunnel and your Rival battle immediately after it.

Red/Blue doesn't have any "backtracking" in the game that really needs to be done until very late game, long after you've obtained Fly. It's given to you at the perfect place for it. You don't need it at all until that point.

I think Gold/Silver does something similar with Fly. Gives it to you only when you actually need it, otherwise it's basically a straight line through the whole game.

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald, on the other hand... Lord do they not give you Fly soon enough. That game is like 90% backtracking and forcing you to do it on foot... Especially when so many routes require you to have different versions of the bike to even traverse... which means you need to get back to town to swap that bike out, and you won't have Fly to do this for quite some time, so "cleaning" these routes is a massive pain in the butt and highly dependent on which bike you're using at the time.

It also doesn't help that the map is so freakin' massive either.

It's a little better in Pearl and Diamond, but not much. That map is massive as well with a ton of backtracking too, and not giving you Fly for a while.

I think X and Y is the worst in terms of giving you Fly and requiring a ton of backtracking, if I recall (and I am probably wrong). I remember a lot of "go here, come back, go here, come back" from that game and wishing I could just skip that or have Fly to make it faster.

Anyway... You get Fly at the perfect place in Red/Blue. You are given it long before you ever need it and even further before you'll ever really utilize it.
 

kirbwarrior

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You know, the Badge Requirement.
Looking back seems like a weird thing honestly. Why put the requirement and the HM in different places, sometimes chapters (gyms) apart from each other?
The Route to the Rock Tunnel is "one way", so giving you fly before this point invalidates the point of having the "One Way" path.
Which was kind of its own weird thing. Why was it one-way? Why did the game potentially lock you somewhere you could be underleveled and not be able to go back to fight weaker mons? It's not a big deal because of how unlikely it was, but that ledge that stops you going back

Woops, I was taking about Mt Moon. I don't remember there being a one way path in or near Rock Tunnel.
If I recall, you need the third Gym Badge to even utilize Fly, but you can obtain the HM after the fifth gym.
You get get the HM before the third gym, it only needs Cut. Celadon is technically where the fourth gym is, though. I instantly used Fly once I could get it because it shortens the trip to the pokecenter, which unlike later games the game expects you to go to for healing up.
You know, the bike you can only obtain after saving Mr. Fuji from the top of the Pokemon Tower in Lavender Town.
You get the voucher in the same city as the 3rd gym. And you have to return to the second gym city to get the bike, so it's an optional immediate backtrack that's about the same length as the beginning of the game. To compare with the second gen, you get the bike near the 3rd gym without any backtracking.
I think Gold/Silver does something similar with Fly. Gives it to you only when you actually need it, otherwise it's basically a straight line through the whole game.
At the path split in the north of the map, the game expects you to go right, deal with a whole of stuff over there, then come back and head left, then gives you the Fly HM. It's a much longer backtrack to the point that most players I see either intentionally or accidentally do it "wrong" by going left instead (which I did as a kid because the map implied that was the dead end and thus I should go that way).

Pokemon Red/Blue gives you Fly long before you ever need it and would ever use it.
Being able to get back to a pokecenter, and especially the one of your choice, is a huge thing. It's a large part of using Return and Outside in Dragon Quest because maybe I got in over my head. You can get Abra earlier, but that requires putting a pokemon that can't do anything in your party to only go to the most recent pokecenter, unlike using any of the very useful flying pokemon in the game (outside charizard not learning it for some reason, which, I guess I should put HM as a mechanic I dislike, but more for implementation than concept).
 

Classic_Review

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Not being able to switch out the main hero guy for another party member. This is something a lot of FF games face where your stuck with the main character in one of your party slots and you can't switch out of them. It both limits creativity and makes the hero hog most of the exp. As someone who likes having all their party members at equal levels, its real annoying to have the whole party at level 30 while the main character is at level 40.
 

kirbwarrior

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Not being able to switch out the main hero guy for another party member.
I find party size really matters for this. Three person parties means you are barely changing the party around, which sucks in Chrono Cross (40+ members) but is barely notices in Super Mario RPG (5 members). While a game with a five person party can allow for a lot of change even with one member being locked, no matter the roster size.

makes the hero hog most of the exp. As someone who likes having all their party members at equal levels, its real annoying to have the whole party at level 30 while the main character is at level 40.
Honestly, having the party not all get experience just doesn't seem to play well in practice from what I've seen. It's at best slightly inconvenient and at worst pushes the player away from trying out new configurations or members. More and more I like (as a developer) to just have everyone the same level as a function of the game. (I won't go into huge detail here, I think I already did this thread about my tons of issues with exp).
 

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